Jonathan J. Cavallero

Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies


Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies

Pettigrew Hall, Room 307


Professor Cavallero teaches Film and Television Studies at Bates. His research interests include race/ethnicity and media; film and television history; film festivals; Hollywood film; Bollywood; media authorship; U.S. cultural history; and issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in pedagogy. Cavallero’s writing has appeared in such journals as Cinema Journal, The Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of Film and Video, The Journal of Popular Film and Television, MELUS, and Italian American Review. His book titled Hollywood’s Italian American Filmmakers: Capra, Scorsese, Savoca, Coppola, and Tarantino was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2011. Cavallero has taught at University of Arkansas, Penn State University and Indiana University, where he was a two-time recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award (once for “Introduction to Media” and once for “Public Speaking”). His interest in studying Italian Americans springs from his own Italian American background. Cavallero’s great grandparents immigrated to the US with their families between 1910 and 1912. As a third generation Italian American growing up in the suburbs of Washington, DC and Philadelphia, Cavallero often looked to the movies and television for a sense of cultural definition.


Ph.D. – Communication and Culture and American Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

M.A. – Media Studies, Penn State University, University Park, PA

B.A. – Government, with a minor in English (Film Studies), Georgetown University, Washington, DC



Jonathan J. Cavallero. Hollywood’s Italian American Filmmakers: Capra, Scorsese, Savoca, Coppola, and Tarantino. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2011.


Jonathan J. Cavallero & Laura E. Ruberto (eds.), Italian American Review 6.2 (Summer 2016). Special issue on Italian Americans and television.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Psychotic Sexuality, Nagging Wives, and Dolores: Nick Vallelonga’s Representation of Women from his 1990s Exploitation Films to Green Book.”  In Untitled Green Book Collection.  Edited by Ryan Calabretta-Sajder and Marina Melita.  New York: Bordighera Press, 2022.  (forthcoming)

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Edible Ethnicity: Italian-American Representations, Cinematic Style, and Ethnic Commodification in Stanley Tucci’s and Campbell Scott’s Big Night.” In Italian Americans on Screen. Edited by Ryan Calabretta-Sajder and Alan Gravano. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2021.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Italian-Americans in Cinema and Media.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Cinema and Media Studies. Edited by Krin Gabbard. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, 2021.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Transnational Adaptation: Q & A, Slumdog Millionaire, and Aesthetic and Economic Relationships between Bollywood and Hollywood.” The Journal of Popular Culture 50.4 (August 2017): 835-854.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Written Out of the Story: Issues of Television Authorship, Reception, and Ethnicity in NBC’s ‘Marty.'” Cinema Journal 56.3 (Spring 2017): 47-73.

Jonathan J. Cavallero & Laura E. Ruberto. “Introduction to the Special Issue on Italian Americans and Television.” Italian American Review 6.2 (Summer 2016): 160-172.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “The Afterlife of a Classical Text: Representing Ethnicity in the Stage Productions of Marty.” Italian American Review 5.1 (Winter 2015): 27-45.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Issues of Race, Ethnicity and Television Authorship in Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues and Boardwalk Empire.” In A Companion to Martin Scorsese. Edited by Aaron baker, 214-234. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Engaging Millennial Students in Social Justice from Initial Class Meetings to Service Learning.” In From Entitlement to Engagement: Affirming Millennial Students’ Egos in the Higher Education Classroom. New Directions for Teaching and Learning Ser., 135. Edited by Dave S. Knowlton and Kevin Jack Hagopian, 75-80. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Playing Good Italian/Bad Italian in ABC’s The Untouchables.” In Mafia Movies: A Reader. Edited by Dana Regna, 76-84. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Hitchcock and Race: Is the Wrong Man a White Man?” Journal of Film and Video 62.4 (Winter 2010): 3-14. [Lead article]

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Beyond Italian Americans: When Directors of Italian Descent Cross Ethnic Lines.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana 20.2 (Fall 2009): 3-11. [Lead article]

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Gangsters, Fessos, Tricksters, and Sopranos: The Historical Roots of Italian American Stereotype Anxiety.” Journal of Popular Film & Television 32.2 (Summer 2004): 50-63. [Lead article]

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Frank Capra’s 1920 Immigrant Trilogy: Immigration, Assimilation, and the American Dream.” MELUS: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States 29.2 (Summer 2004): 27-53.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Redefining Italianità: The Difference Between Mussolini, Italy, Germany, and Japan in Frank Capra’s ‘Why We Fight.'” Italian Americana 22.1 (Winter 2004): 5-16

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “A Horse is a Horse?: Broadway Bill, Riding High, and a Changing American Culture.” Pennsylvania English 26.1-2 (2003/2004): 11-26.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “‘Maybe Because You’re Italian’: The Depiction of Italian and Italian American Characters in the Films of Frank Capra.” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana 14.1 (Spring 2003): 15-34.

Public Scholarship

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Edible Ethnicity: Italian-American Representations, Cinematic Style, and Ethnic Commodification in Stanley Tucci’s and Campbell Scott’s Big Night.” Maine Film Center.  Live Zoom Presentation. November 2020.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Bates Film Professor Jon Cavallero’s Top 30 Films of the Decade.” Bates News. January 9, 2020.

Jonathan J. Cavallero, “John Ford: Remembering Maine’s Native Son and Celebrated Director.” Maine Calling with Jennifer Rooks. Maine Public Radio.  January 29, 2019.

Book & Film Reviews & Remembrances

Jonathan J. Cavallero. (2020).  “The Problem(s) with Green Book.” Review of Green Book.  Animo Quarterly: Reflections on Green Book. (Fall 2020).

Jonathan J. Cavallero. (2020).  Review of Giuliana Muscio, Napoli/New York/Hollywood: Film between Italy and the United States. Italian American Review 10.1 (Winter 2020): 96-99.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. (2019). Remembrance of Peter Bondanella. Italian American Review.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. Review of Anthony Julian Tamburri, Re-Viewing Italian Americana: Generalities and Specificities in Cinema. Altreitalie 47 (July – December 2013): 106-8.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. Review of the documentary film Vito (2011). Italian American Review 3.2 (Summer 2013): 146-9.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. Review of Gilbert Sorrentino, The Abyss of Human Illusion. Italian Americana 29.1 (Winter 2011): 124-5.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. Review of Giorgio Bertellini, Italy in Early American Cinema. Italica 87.3 (Autumn 2010): 527-9.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. “Forbidden.” Review of the 1932 Frank Capra film. Quarterly Review of Film and Video 29.5 (2010): 399-401.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. Review of the documentary film Hollywood Chinese (2007). Film & History 39.1 (Spring 2009): 84-5.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. Review of the documentary film Excellent Cadavers (2005). Film & History 37.2 (September 2007): 86-7.

Jonathan J. Cavallero. Review of Robert Sklar and Vito Zagarrio, eds. Frank Capra: Authorship and the Studio System. Journal of Popular Film & Television 30.2 (Summer 2002): 120.



Film Festival Studies

Immigration and Media

Italian-American Masculinities

Film Theory

Race, Gender, and International Cinema

Introduction to Screen Studies

American Cinema in the 1990s

Film Festivals and Digital Video Production

The Cinema of John Ford

Remaking Movies: Art, History, and Politics